I know up on top you are seeing great sights, but down on the bottom we, too, should have rights!

Some of you wondered how, and for what, NEA had paid $60,646 to Morris Costumes of Charlotte, North Carolina, so I’ve posted this small hint.

Here at EIA, we live the philosophy of Dr. Seuss, who once said, “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”


EIA Exclusive: NEA’s Annual Financial Disclosure Report, Part II

Click here for the full EIA exclusive:

Last week, EIA reported on the salary portion of the 2004-05 labor organization financial disclosure report (LM-2) filed by the National Education Association. This analysis concentrates on contribution, grants, political expenditures, and other outlays made by the union during the year.

Here are just a few expenditures:

* Bredhoff & Kaiser, the law firm of NEA General Counsel Robert Chanin, received funds in a number of different categories, totaling $1,143,316

* The Fund to Protect Social Security: $400,000

* Communities for Quality Education received $2.5 million from NEA, in addition to whatever funds CQE raised from individual NEA state affiliates.

* Economic Policy Institute: $45,000

* Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Media Awards: $5,000

* Rainbow PUSH Coalition: $5,000

* The Ripon Society: $10,000

* Food Research and Action Center: $5,000

* Morris Costumes: $60,646

* NCATE: $311,722

* People for the American Way: $51,200

* Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice: $200,000. This is the nonprofit formed by the NEA state affiliates in the north central part of the U.S.

* Harvard University: $25,000. Listed as pertaining to “research services and statistics,” it is unclear whether this is a grant to The Civil Rights Project or for something else. NEA is, nevertheless, a contributor to the CRP.

* Council on Foreign Relations: $6,000

* Aramark Corporation: $145,766


More from Oakland

* Now you can read the union’s side of the Oakland school board protest story. Comparing the superintendent to Hitler, calling him a “bourgeois black man,” and booing and heckling a fellow teacher seems par for the course for the BAMN (By Any Means Necessary) group. A short video of Oakland Education Association members marching into the meeting is available in QuickTime here. The chanting needs work. Once more with feeling!

* The United Federation of Teachers is looking to fill key positions in its second charter school. But since the job and school descriptions are password-protected it’s going to limit the field somewhat. Interested job-seekers can e-mail inquiries to CharterJobSearch@UFT.ORG.

Due to the public outcry over the bathroom cleaning incident at UFT’s first charter school, the union is seeing to it that the problem cannot happen again. Here is the school’s new custodian installing a child safety device in the restroom.


Respect for Educators Begins at Home

* The next time your local union complains about lack of respect for teachers, think of this account of the most recent meeting of the Oakland school board. Some of it would embarrass Hoffa.

* Editor’s Note: My December 13 post, headlined “Remember This Lawsuit? Now Forget It” was corrupted during an archive republishing and is now unrecoverable. I have no other backup of it. My apologies to those of you who have been looking for it.


Defending and Attacking the Secret Ballot

* Employees of the Jackson-Madison County school district in Tennessee voted 580 to 496 vote in favor of instituting collective bargaining, and chose the Jackson-Madison County Education Association (JMCEA) as their exclusive representative.

Some community residents wanted to know the school-by-school breakdown of the results. But district and union officials defended the secret ballot process. “There were several people concerned about people finding out how they voted,” said JMCEA President Dawn Pearce said. “This was a fair way to all of the people that voted to make sure it remains a total secret.”

But wasn’t that NEA President Reg Weaver at the Big Labor rally last week, touting the union’s support for the so-called Employee Free Choice Act? “We will not stop here. We will not stop now. We will not stop this fight until the Employee Free Choice Act becomes law, until employers are held accountable,” he said.

The EFCA, according to the International Labor Communications Association, would “write card-check recognition into the law. That way, unions are automatically recognized after a majority signs recognition cards, rather than after a cumbersome business-tilted election.”

The automatic card check not only eliminates the election, but it eliminates the secret ballot, made in private without any coercion — from either side. That’s free choice.

* The Weblog Award voting is over. Thanks to those of you who took the time to cast a ballot. Alas, too few. Intercepts finished 8th of 15 finalists. Congratulation to category winner The Hole Card. Perhaps I should have insisted on an automatic card check.